Ella Eastin Added to World Championships Roster; Baker Drops 200 IM

A day ahead of the official FINA deadline for entry changes, USA Swimming has unveiled its final roster for the 2019 World Championships.

While many of the biggest question-marks remain on the list (Jack Levant, Grant Shoults, and Nathan Adrian are all still entered, in spite of various medical issues), there was one big surprise change to the roster.

Recent Stanford graduate Ella Eastin has been added to the team with an entry to swim the 200 IM. Kathleen Baker, meanwhile, has dropped that race, and will swim just the 50, 100, and 200 backstroke individually at Worlds.

In April, Baker got sick, and the associated cough led to a rib fracture. This cost her a chunk of time out of the water, including skipping racing at the FINA Champions Series. She hasn’t raced since the French Golden Tour stop in mid-March, where she swam a 59.0 in the 100 back, a 2:10.6 in the 200 IM, and a 1:08.6 in the 100 breaststroke.

Baker was the 2018 World Short Course bronze medalist in the 200 IM. She was the top-ranked American in long course in 2018, with a 2:08.32 from Summer Nationals. She was a 2:11.26 in prelims at Pan Pacs, though, which ranked her 6th overall in that round and as the 3rd American (behind Eastin and Melanie Margalis). Baker wound up skipping the B final at that meet, though her time from Nationals was still good enough to carry her to an entry at Worlds.

Eastin, meanwhile, managed to qualify for Pan Pacs in spite of having been diagnosed with mononucleosis just a few weeks before Nationals. Her times ultimately qualified her for the World University Games, a second-tier international championship for Americans this summer, in the 200 IM. Eastin is in Naples with Team USA, and so will pull double duty this summer.

In the 2017-2018 long course season, Baker ranked 2nd in the world in the 200 IM behind Japan’s Yui Ohashi, while Easstin ranked 9th. Among Americans, Baker was #1, followed by Melanie Margalis (who will swim the race at Worlds), Madisyn Cox (whose 2:09.82 season best was done at a Pro Swim Series meet in March), and Eastin (season best – 2:09.90).

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4 years ago

Ella is the epitome of what you would want on a team. Articulate, talented, dedicated, and humble. Wishing Kathleen a quick recovery and continued success. Knowing Ella will make the most of this opportunity to represent USA. Great Swimmer, wonderful person. Couldn’t be more proud to support Team USA

Reply to  TMD
4 years ago

Yeah, sure, whatevs.

Reply to  TMD
4 years ago

TMD, you’re trolling with that comment, right?

4 years ago

Fractured rib from coughing! Baker has some strong-as-heck abs!

Reply to  2Fat4Speed
4 years ago

Unfortunately, Baker may be susceptible to fractures from being on steroids to treat her Crohn’s disease flares.

Reply to  PhillyMark
4 years ago

An interesting situation for Baker. Crohns causes problems. Treatment for Crohns leads to strong abs and musculature and World Record. Strong abs lead to cracked rib, and is back to square one, and probably will lose World Record this summer.

4 years ago

I wonder how long she’s known about this for taper purposes

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Nswim
4 years ago

Depends on when Kathleen Baker told USAS!

4 years ago

I love Eastin but must admit to some confusion as to why she would be selected over Madisyn Cox.

Gen D
Reply to  Dunc1952
4 years ago

wasn’t Cox serving that suspension last year which made her miss Nationals and thus the opportunity to qualify for any team?

4 years ago

So if someone is still on the roster that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re swimming, right? Grant Shoults hasn’t swam a 400 yet this year and only swam one session of one meet, I believe, since November.

cynthia curran
4 years ago

Boy, too bad for Baker a 1:08 in long course breast and a 59 in long course back, but good for Eastin. At least Eastin finally got a break and at least made a long course world team. Not her best event, probably more likely 400 Im.

Reply to  cynthia curran
4 years ago

59.0 is fast in season. And a 1:08 breast is nothing to scoff at for someone who doesn’t even swim breaststroke outside IM.

Reply to  DMacNCheez
4 years ago

She was a :59 in 100 Breaststroke SCY in high school. Her breaststroke is solid. I hope to see her swim more 2IMs.

Reply to  DMacNCheez
4 years ago

I don’t think anyone was scoffing

4 years ago

Yeah!!!! Outstanding, her time to shine

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Ragnar
4 years ago

Yes – IF (BIG IF). See above reply to STATMAN.

4 years ago

Kathleen Baker rn

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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